Fore Main Mizzen

Research output: Non-textual formExhibition


Fore Main Mizzen is a work made after repeated visits to Southend-on-Sea and Sheerness, both vantage points from which, at low tide, you can see the tops of the masts of the SS Richard Montgomery. The ship sank in the Thames estuary during World War Two and is still packed full of the high explosives it was carrying. It now lists on a sandbank off the Kent coast. Salt water and tides are corroding the hull and it is unknown when it might explode.

Taking inspiration from the impending bang the work explores the estuarine landscape and the slow entropy of the corroding hull. The work is driven by the impossible task of reaching the sunken architecture of the ship through repeated excursions to both sides of the water. A process of recording, re-recording and re-experiencing the sites results in a meticulously constructed sound piece that loops and layers, reflecting the motion of the waves and the pull of the tides against the hull.

Drawings made in the studio that sit somewhere between notes for scores and reflections on the landscape have resulted in visual motifs that appear through the sculptures. There is a relationship between the materials of drawing and the materials used in making gunpowder: charcoal and potash (saltpetre) plus graphite to keep the powder dry. These motifs and materials have been developed into a series of sculptures that simultaneously function as speakers. The speakers can be taken apart to travel and reassembled each time they are used, a nod to sound system culture and dub music: a method of making that also uses sampling and looping.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationLeeds, UK
PublisherCentre for Audio Visual Research, University of Leeds
Publication statusPublished - 27 Sept 2018


Dive into the research topics of 'Fore Main Mizzen'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this